Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back to the stories: Two snow giants visit

Back to the stories I was telling.

As I had mentioned, Kracknovag and Kackanokack had arrived at the village unexpectedly.

They actually arrived just before dinner.

Of course, the elves scrambled to make food for our large guests.

I managed or find some mead. I hoped there was enough to do justice to the giants’ thirst.

The giants joined us in the great hall. Mrs. Claus and I, as well as many members of the Assembly ate there as well.

Giants work at their own speed (but once they make up their minds, there’s no stopping them!).

Finally, Kackanokack, the leader of the snow giants at the North Pole, spoke.

“We thank you for this food and drink,” he said. “We are honored to have such friends.

“We thank you for your help with our frozen brother, Kickingik. He is well. He has gone to live with our southern brother. So have other brothers who loved with us here for many years.”

I did not like the sound of that.

“Gikanogark Honors you for your hospitality,” Kackanokack said of the leader of the southern giants. “But he left not happy.”

He paused; I waited to see if he would go on. It became clear he was waiting for me to say something.

“Was he not pleased with our actions?” I asked.

“Your help pleased him. But it also pleased him not. He said giants should help giants. Help from … smaller ones is not in our tradition.”

I looked at Eomar. There are many who are uneasy about those who are different.

“We were glad to be of help,” I said. “But we do not mean to offend.”

“I was not offended,” Kackanokack said. “But some of my brothers were not happy. They have gone to where only giants live. For now.”

What did he mean, “For now?”

“I hope they will be happy,” I said. “They are always welcome here as guests.”

“I do not think we will see them for many years,” he said. “But I fear we will hear of them.”

He slowly looked around at all the assembled elves, dwarves and gnomes. Then he looked at me.

”Humans are a curious race,” he said finally, and picked up his mead.

It took a moment, but then I understood.

The evening passed with no more words about the southern giants.

Finally, Kracknovag and Kackanokack took their leave and went back to their village.

As soon as they were gone, the members of the Council joined me at my table.

Gimlitin, who represents the dwarves, said, “What was he really saying?”

“He was saying that there might be trouble at the South Pole,” I answered.

“Why?” Dwobnab, the representative of the gnomes asked.

“Humans,” Eomar said bluntly.

“Yes, humans are a curious race,” I said. “They like to explore. Everywhere.”

Dwobnab nodded thoughtfully.

Gimlitin scratched his beard. Finally, he grunted and said, “And they will explore the South Pole.”

“Exactly,” I said.

“So if humans run into giants at the South Pole, what business is that of ours at the North Pole?” Gimlitin said.

“Because Santa cares about all races,” Dwobnab said.

“And Santa is a human,” Eomar added.

Gimlitin muttered, “Ah.”

Ah, indeed. This is something I will have to deal with at some point soon.


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